Curing & Smoking
Pickled Pigs’ Feet (Cured and Pickled)
A traditional cured, cooked and pickled meat product.
- (4 cups) 2 lbs. salt
- (2 Tbs.) 1 oz. sodium nitrate or
- (1/4 tsp.) 0.05 oz. sodium nitrite
- (4 qts.) 1 gal. water
(Please read about Nitrates and Nitrites)
Thoroughly clean the feet using a coarse brush and hot water. Trim closely to remove any remaining hair. Only the front feet are used. Place the cleaned feet in enough curing brine to cover them. Cure for five days at 40ºF.
Remove feet from brine, wash, and split from the toe to the shank to prevent skin from splitting during cooking. Place feet in kettle and cover with cold water. Heat to boiling, reduce temperature and cook until tender. Test with a fork after three hours. Do not stir while cooking. Time required is about six hours. Chill with cold water. After the feet are firmed and the fat washed off, split the feet with a cleaver and remove the shank bone.
Pickling: Pack the feet in jars and cover with hot vinegar pickle of five percent strength (50 grain). Pickling spice, bay leaves, cloves or peppers may be added to the vinegar pickle if desired. Check the jars after 14 days to ensure that the feet are covered with vinegar. If not, remove pickle, add additional vinegar, reheat and pour over feet. Seal.
This document was extracted from "Sausage and Smoked Meat Formulation and Processing", 1982. Bulletin 865, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. By A. Estes Reynolds, Jr. and George A. Schuler, Extension Food Scientists.
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